Do you know the difference between Bio-textiles and Recycled textiles?
Lately I hear and read a lot about Bio-textiles and the importance that they have in the world of fashion and manufacture, but at the same time we see recycled textiles in many strong brands so, do you really know the difference between them? .
Based on their nature, Bio-textiles or Bio-plastics are materials that are created from a living element – a process called bio-manufacturing, which is a crop of living organisms such as bacterias, fungi and others, that grow as if they were textile fibers -. The processes vary depending on the biological asset that is being used, fermented or cultivated in a laboratory, biological materials are reaching the world of fashion to bring an option prior to recycling.
Recycled textiles are made with fibers that already exist. Nowadays there is a lot of talk about products that have been made with garbage or recycled materials. The recycling process depends on the composition of the fabric being recycled, and while usually clothes are made from cotton, which is a biodegradable material, others use synthetic plastic, so finally the composition dictates the recycling method.
For cotton, first the clothes are separated by color, to avoid having to be dyed again, then the textiles are shredded into very small fibers and mixed to be cleaned, carded and passed to spinning or weaving. The fibers can also be compressed for the production of mattresses and various other things.
For clothing that is made of polyester, the process is different, first the buttons and zippers are removed, the clothing is cut into small pieces, these are granulated and then small pellets are formed. The pellets polymerize into small pieces of polyester, which are melted down and spun into a new fiber used to make new polyester fabrics.
So what is the difference? A lot! Biotextiles or Bioplastics are materials that were born to die, that´s it, they have a very short duration and then will biodegrade over time without affecting the environment. The problem is that at the moment the incubation process of the bacteria takes a long time, it is expensive, and the duration of the biological materials is only a few months. The big bet of the Bio-laboratories is to improve the process and the duration of these materials at an affordable cost so that they can be marketed more easily, while recycled Textiles are a mixture of processes that do involve contaminating agents, light and water to remake fibers with those that already exist and that are a serious problem for the environment, although there are also proposals to improve recycling systems using clean energy and strict control of water.
Now that you know the difference, what kind of textiles would you use?